Dr Gideon Idowu, a lecturer with the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA) has emerged as the winner of the 2021 Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer (JWO) Research Grant for Africa.
According to the organizers of the yearly grant, Dr Idowu won the award after his entry was adjudged the best from a pool of 292 entries from applicants from 27 African Countries. The grant is under the aegis of the Oppenheimer Generations Research & Conservation.
‘’After a continent-wide search, with entries from 27 countries across Africa, we are pleased to announce that Dr Gideon Idowu from the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), Nigeria, is the 3rd recipient of the annual Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer (JWO) Research Grant,” the Organization said while announcing the winner. And in a formal letter to Idowu, Bridget Fury, Head of Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies wrote, “Congratulations! It is my pleasure to inform you that you are the recipient of the 2021 Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer (JWO) Research Grant. Your proposal titled, “Microplastics and plastic-derived chemical contaminants in Africa: implication on human health and the loss of aquatic biodiversity” was selected out of 292 applications. On behalf of the JWO research Grant team, please know that we are happy to support the important work you are doing. We wish you much success in your efforts as you undertake the responsibilities of this grant.”
The JWO Research Grant is overseen and managed jointly by Oppenheimer Generations Philanthropies and Oppenheimer Generations Research and Conservation. Idowu formally received the instrument for the grant and award certificate at a ceremony in South Africa on Friday, November 5, 2021.
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Through the grant, Idowu will lead a group of scientists and researchers from 11 African countries for research work focusing on the effects of microplastics and chemical contaminants on the environment. And “Through Dr Idowu’s research work, policymakers and communities will gain a better understanding of the effects of microplastics and chemical contaminants on people and the environment,” the organisers said.
“The JWO Research Grant seeks to support an emerging researcher from Africa, who leads innovative research focused on the natural environment, including, but not limited to; environmental science, conservation, geology, and archaeology. The research should address a real-world, African issue of current and future importance.” The winner must have a strong link with a credible African Institution. The JWO Research Grant was established to honour the late Mrs Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer and continue her extensive contribution to and passion for Africa, the environment, and science.” Dr Idowu, while thanking God for the success, described the grant as a unique honour and needed support to lead a new study across the Continent.
The Vice-Chancellor of FUTA, Professor Joseph Fuwape, has congratulated Dr Idowu. He described the grant as another validation of the excellence and global relevance of FUTA, its faculty members and students. He said he was confident that in the extant tradition of FUTA, Dr Idowu would discharge his work creditably well for the benefit of the continent and in consonance with the expectations of Oppenheimer Generations Research & Conservation.